This year as Easter approaches one of my brothers is in the hospital fighting for his life (prayers appreciated). His battle reminds me of another Easter, many years ago, when my Grandad was on his journey home.
That Easter, so many years ago, I was a new Christian. About the same time I became a Christian, my Granddad got a sore throat that just wouldn’t go away. Eventually they diagnosed him – it was throat cancer. He’d been a smoker in his younger days, and even though he’d quit many years prior, the damage was done.
I remember thinking that I really didn’t know my Grandad very well at all and prayed for the opportunity to get to spend time with him before he died. As it turned out, my parents took my Grandad in to care for him and they asked if I could come by after work and help with his care. My prayer had been answered.
Coincidentally…. (if you believe anything is actually a coincidence), around this time the church I was attending co-hosted a healing service that was taking place at another church. My friends and I decided to go. As I was a new Christian, I didn’t have any idea what to expect or think.
We went in and took our seats and I ended up next to the aisle. The Pastor came out and started talking about what was going to happen during the service. He said, “I will call out illnesses that I believe God is telling me to pray over; if it relates to you come forward so we can pray for you.” He then said, “or if you know someone that fits the description, you may also come forward and we will pray for that person.”
As I sat there, I was holding a conversation with God in my head. I was thinking about my Grandad and his need. I said, “You know Lord I’m not going forward unless it’s really obvious that they are talking about Grandad.”
The Pastor started calling out illnesses and said, “There’s someone with an issue with his neck, like it’s swollen…” He said some more about it and I, again speaking in my head, only to God, said “No Lord, that’s not specific enough, he’s going to have to say Carl.” The Pastor hadn’t mentioned any names, but I wasn’t about to go forward unless I knew I was really supposed to.
There was a lady walking forward down the aisle near me and the Pastor told her to stop. He said to her, “Do you know a Carl?” She looked confused and said, “no.” He said, “Someone around you knows a Carl and he needs prayer. It’s Carl with a C not a K – I know a Carl with a K but it’s not him, it’s with a C. If you know someone named Carl and are sitting near her, come forward because he needs prayer.” I spoke to God, again in my head, and said “Okay God, now I believe he’s talking about Grandad.” And I went forward to get prayer for him.
The next day I was feeling very confused and kept thinking, “How am I going to tell my family about this.”
After work, I went over to my parent’s house. When I went inside I asked my stepmom ‘How’s Grandad?” She replied, “You won’t believe it, he wanted to go get his hair cut today. He hasn’t been out of bed in weeks and he wanted to go out and get a haircut, so I took him.”
I told her I believed it and said, “I have to tell you what happened last night” and proceeded to tell her. She told me that I needed to go tell him, and when I did so, he cried.
On my way home, a voice in my head very clearly said, “Tell Tami I’m okay now.” And I knew he was going to die, but I also knew he was okay, okay in a far deeper way than the physical sense.
As Easter approached that year, my Grandad’s body started giving out – it wasn’t from the cancer, that had been cured. It was because his body was exhausted from the cancer treatments. It was time for him to go home.
Again, God’s timing was perfect. I was on vacation from my job the week leading up to Easter when my Grandad was admitted to the hospital. We set up an around the clock watch to sit with him, my shift was late at night.
One night as I was sitting with him, I heard him stop breathing and panicked and called out “Grandad.” He took a deep sighing breath. When I heard that, I knew I should have let him go, but I was scared. I called the nurse in and she said he wouldn’t make it through the night. I called my stepmom who came right over. After talking with the nurse, she told me to go tell my Dad.
I drove to their home, praying – “God if I should be there when Grandad dies, let that happen, but if you know I can’t handle it, then let him die before I get back.” I was afraid, I had never watched anyone die before and wasn’t sure if I was ready or able to do so.
When I got back to the hospital in the middle of the night, there were no parking places, so I had to park farther away. Then the thought came to me that I should get my stepmom and myself some coffee since it was probably going to be a long night. As I was walking down the hall to the room coffees in hand, my stepmom was walking out of the door – Grandad had just died.
Easter… Easter and the death of a loved one…
Because of Easter…
- Because of Easter…
- Because of Jesus, His death, His crucifixion, His taking on the penalty for our sins…
- Because death could not hold Him since He was without sin…
- Because Jesus overcame death and rose on the third day…
- Because of the Resurrection…
- We can say,
- “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1Corinthians 15:55
My Grandad went home that night, no more pain and no more suffering all because of Easter. Not because of the bunnies and the eggs, but because of the truth behind the Holiday – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16